500 gm (2½ cups)dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water, drained250 ml (1 cup)extra-virgin olive oil50 gmmild pancetta, diced2celery stalks, diced1onion, finely chopped5garlic cloves, finely crushed in a mortar and pestle750 ml (3 cups)chicken stock400 gmcanned Italian whole peeled tomatoes, crushed2 tbspfinely chopped oreganoPinchof chilli flakes1 bunchcavolo nero, coarsely chopped
Combine chickpeas and enough cold water to cover generously in a saucepan (do not salt water), bring to the boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low and simmer until just tender (20-30 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150C. Heat half the oil in a casserole over medium heat, add pancetta, celery, onion and garlic and stir occasionally until just tender (20-30 minutes). Add chickpeas, stock, tomato, oregano and chilli, season well to taste, cover and braise in oven until chickpeas are tender (1 hour). Stir in cavolo nero and braise until cavolo nero is very tender (30 minutes). Serve hot.
This recipe is from the April 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
To transform this recipe into a hearty bread and chickpea soup, add extra stock, spoon over crusty day-old bread and add a scattering of parmesan. You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the chickpeas.